The Break-Up Artist by Phillip Siegel

17684323The Break-Up Artist by Phillip Siegel
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Length: 336 pages
Genera: Contemporary
Subjects: Romance, Comedy, Slut Shaming
How I obtained the book: 
Netgalley, eARC


Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

There are just some books that you know are going to piss you off just by the summary. I had a nagging feeling that this would be one of those and I was right. I was most certainly right. The summary wasn’t wasn’t even my only warning flag, honestly. The moment I saw that this book was written by a guy I should have run as fast as I could – but I didn’t and now, at least, I have the chance to warn you before you read the book.

Becca Williamson destroys relationships for a living. People fire her to destroy relationships – and Becca being an extremely cynical individual does it for $100. It doesn’t even seem to matter to her that these relationships could be healthy and perfectly normal. 

I’m not a romantic person at all, but damn, no one comes near Becca when it comes to being cynical. It’s not like I don’t understand why she feels this way. I would feel similar if I was in that position but that is no excuse for how Becca treats the other girls she claims to be doing this for.

Becca not only treats every girl who even insinuates attraction to [gasp] a boy as if they had caught a plague and need to be put down. Siegel wrote every female character, aside from our perfect main character of course, as sexy “sluts” that can’t see beyond their overwhelming need for a male figure in their life.

Even Becca’s own ‘best friend’ isn’t exempt from Becca’s raging passive aggressive slut shaming and girl hating. I still can’t believe Becca’s friend didn’t get the hell out of that toxic relationship before it was too late. Becca is not a good person and definitely not someone you want to be around.

The book is centered around love (to the book’s credit, all types of love – not just romantic). Becca does not believe in romantic love, which is okay. There’s nothing wrong with that in theory. However, as one could expect, the ending does involve some romance therefore making the overall meaning of the book less about the importance of love and more like ‘your life is not complete without a guy’. 

The plot was really iffy. I wasn’t wholly comfortable with any of the events in the book. It wasn’t even a book that wasn’t obviously meant to make the reader uncomfortable. I do think that the author meant for the readers to sympathize with Becca which is completely incomprehensible to me.

Overall, The Break-Up Artist was just not for me. I couldn’t stand the outrageous slut shaming and girl hating. Becca was just way too holier-than-thou for my liking and the plot was drab at best. I do not recommend this book.

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